Started at Christ United Methodist Church in Plano, Project Hope is a non-profit program that provides betterment for families at poverty level through education & training without being a handout like welfare or other government- funded programs. The families work hard to open alternate pathways to a more sustainable way of life.
The director of Project Hope was looking to expand the program from families to focus on mentoring 12-18 years olds to avoid common pitfalls while recognizing alternative pathways to a more lucrative life. The new sister program would be named Project Next Generation. With the creation of the new arm of the Project Hope program the client wanted to revisit the existing logo design and marketing materials to present a branded program that could be adopted by other ministries and organizations.
The existing logo design was difficult to use effectively, and after a quick search I discovered that it was a stock image, another major reason to move away from the current execution. Since the look had been in use for a couple of years it was important to maintain a reference to the existing look. The client felt that an element of the tree needed to be represented moving forward.
I started with a word mind map and forced connections centered around the key characteristics of the program – knowledge, opportunity and hope.
Realizing that Project Next Generation would need to tie directly to the parent brand, Project Hope, while also being strong enough to have it’s own identity, I opted to develop both logos in tandem. I began by sketching 100 logos for each concept, evaluating the rough ideas and honing in on a few concepts to develop tighter sketches, icon relationships and type studies.
The first looks of both logos were shown in black & white, after several rounds of exploration internally.
Version 1 relates to the idea of family and growth with a direct reference to the tree as the family unit, and the sprout as the children for Project Next Generation. A horizon is created to anchor the logo marks with the idea that Project Hope and Project Next Generation are the roots to a better life. The custom logo type is open, light and inviting with upward swashes playing off the sense of hope.
Version 2 brings in the notion of hope through flight with the bird also doubling as a subtle reference to christianity. The silhouette of the bird in Project Hope references a tree, while the bird imagery for Project Next Generation drives home the idea of mentorship. The type is light, airy and hopeful with the shape of the acorn/heart a featured element of the parent brand.
Version 3 plays with the idea of a bird as a tree once again. The leaf and bird form the silhouette of the tree while providing a zen-like balance. Project Next Generation builds on the tree iconography further with the acorn representing the youth in the program. Both logo marks are designed to be bold and iconic enough to exist without the logo type. The logo type highlights the words Hope and Next Generation while down playing the more clinical word, Project.
After a couple of rounds of revisions the director zeroed in on the tree imagery of version 1, and tweaks were made to tie the Project Next Generation more directly to the Project Hope version. This included the use of the tree canopy as a cloud element. Several options for color were built around the idea of bright optimism, new pathways and a better life.
The combination of the greens and purples was well-received, but ultimately the client had concerns that purple could be a polarizing color for the teens in Project Next Generation. The final solution would feature blue instead, though the purple would be adapted in the full brand color palette as an accent.
The brand color palette is expanded in the style guide, and the first application of the new identity was applied to three brochures.